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HG's Know-Your-Noodles Guide (Must Read!)
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HG's Know-Your-Noodles Guide (Must Read!)

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03.16.12
 


When it comes to conventional noodles -- a.k.a. good old-fashioned pasta -- we know that they're a) tasty but b) generally high in calories. Still, most of us need noodles in our lives, right? Check out our three favorite ways to satisfy a pasta craving...

 
 
  House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodle Substitute

PER SERVING (4 oz., 1/2 bag): 20 calories, 0.5g fat, 15mg sodium, 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 0g sugars, 1g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Pros: You can eat a whole bag (technically TWO servings) of these tofu-and-yam-flour noodles for only 40 calories! That's the biggest pro around. Factor in the fiber and the fact that you don't need to boil a pot of water, and you'll see why this is our go-to noodle swap. BTW, they're also gluten-free. You MUST try these.

Cons: The texture isn't EXACTLY like regular pasta. Let's be real -- it's a bit chewy. And the liquid the noodles come floating in is a little odd. But if you prepare them properly (follow our directions!) and utilize our recipes (we know what works best with these!), you'll see that getting past the chewiness is a small hurdle between you and BIG calorie savings.

 
 

Top Recipe Picks...

Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo
- The classic. (And try this shrimped-up version!)

Super-Duper Spaghetti Pie Part Deux - This baked dish ROCKS.

So Low Mein w/ Chicken - Take-out, schmake-out. Try our lo mein instead!

Humongous Shrimp 'n Veggie Noodle-Fry - Mega portions; micro stats.

Beef Strogataki - Get your beefy comfort food on, HG-style!

 
 
  High-Fiber Pasta

PER SERVING (2 oz. uncooked, average): 195 calories, 1g fat, 7mg sodium, 41g carbs, 5g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 7.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 5*

Pros: It's SUPER-EASY to locate. Whole-wheat, whole-grain, and multi-grain pastas are pretty much everywhere these days, so grabbing one instead of the regular white-flour pasta is a breeze. Extra fiber rocks! And enriched pastas, like Barilla PLUS, are also great. When you need real pasta STAT, high-fiber noodles will do the trick -- just flip the boxes around, and find one with at least 4g fiber per serving.

Cons: The calories aren't so low that you can just eat as much as you want; don't get blinded by the health halo of words like "whole-wheat." Weigh out your portions carefully, and pay attention to the calorie counts of the other items you scoop onto your pasta -- the numbers can rack up quickly.

Pssst! Here's a sneaky tip -- stretch your serving of whole-wheat spaghetti or fettuccine with a little help from some low-calorie vegetables. It TOTALLY works.

 
 

Top Recipe Picks...

Takes-the-Cake Ziti Bake - Decadent cheese-loaded pasta? Go ahead...

Too-EZ Mac 'n Cheese - Blue box? Balderdash. Stick to this recipe.

iHungry Spaghetti Tacos - HG loves iCarly... and these crazy spaghetti-stuffed shells!

Picnic-Perfect Pasta Salad - Ignore oily versions and dig into this!

BLT-rific Mac 'n Cheese - Another mac 'n cheese dish -- too good to leave out! 

 
 
  FiberGourmet Light Pasta

PER SERVING (2 oz. uncooked): 130 calories, 1g fat, 0 - 120mg sodium, 42 - 43g carbs, 18g fiber, 2g sugars, 6 - 7g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

Pros: This isn't just any high-fiber pasta. It happens to have a TON of fiber. Do you see those stats? EIGHTEEN GRAMS -- it's not a typo. Which means this stuff is seriously filling. Which we love.

Cons: You pretty much have to get this pasta online. There are select stores that sell it, but your best bet is to just order a bunch online -- it has a LONG shelf life. And like regular high-fiber pasta, it's not so low in calories that you don't have to pay attention to portion size. Stick with a serving, and pair it with some lean protein and a side salad.

 
 

Top Recipe Picks...

Honesty time! We've never actually developed any recipes using FiberGourmet noodles, since they're not readily available at your average market. But you can use them in pretty much any recipe that calls for high-fiber or whole-wheat pasta, like our picks above -- for every 2 oz. called for, just subtract 65 calories from (and add 13g fiber to) the recipe total. Score!

 
 
  Honorable Mentions!

Spaghetti squash and broccoli cole slaw. Read up on each of these for those days when you crave a noodle dish... but know you NEED vegetables in your life.

 

Pass around the pasta fun -- click "Send to a Friend" now!

CHEW ON THIS:

Tomorrow, March 17th, is St. Patty's Day! Instead of spending more than 500 calories and double-digit fat grams on a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's, celebrate with HG's very own Shamrock 'n' Roll Shake!

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.


*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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